RARA-AVIS: Hearing about new books and writers

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 11 Jul 2004

Over the last three or four weeks I've read 24 HOURS TO KILL by James McKimmey (1961), THE CONCRETE RIVER by John Shannon (1996), and THE PRONE GUNMAN by Jean-Patrick Manchette (English translation, 2002). I heard about all three writers here on the list, these were the first I'd read of them, and I liked all three and am going to read more.

I'd never made note of McKimmey before a recent burst of discussion about him started by Mr. Guthrie's work. He'd been mentioned before on the list, but I hadn't jotted down his name. But then all of a sudden people were saying, "I just read a book by him and it was great," or "I read all his stuff when it came out, and he's one of the best," or "I don't just read him, I'm going to republish everything he wrote," or "James McKimmey saved my baby from a burning house."

Things like that tell me about writers I know I'm going to like. Which makes me wonder, where do rare birds find out about new or old books and writers (aside from here)? Ed Gorman seems to read something classic every time he waits for the lights to change, and he mentions it all on his blog Ed's Place. Mr. Lewis's MYSTERY*FILE has lots of reviews and tips. I got hep to a lot of names in O'Brien's HARDBOILED AMERICA and Lee Server's books. Where else should people go to get pointers to good HB/noir stuff?

By the way, thank you Ms. Matkowski Perry for the John Shannon book. The LA he describes is a hell of a town. Not only am I going to read more of his stuff, I'm going to get Mike Davis's CITY OF QUARTZ.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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